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Immigration Paperwork

I spent several hours last night filling out immigration paperwork. I am now intimately familiar with DHS regulations and Form N-400. And the 14-page instruction document, which didn't address any of the questions that I actually had about the form. I can see how some things weren't very clear to my Nicaraguan student. However, she is still excited about applying for citizenship.

I have to say, I'm less than impressed with the government's fillable online form. There's a box in the top corner of every page for the applicant's A# (Lawful Permanent Resident or "green card" number). Only the field on the first page is activated, so I guess I'm going to have to write it in on the other nine. A well-designed form would let you input the number on page one and copy it to all the others. Maybe that was the idea... but, no.

And, I can't figure out why the form will print a blank copy just fine, but once it's completed, the right-hand margins readjust and it runs off the side of the paper. Even though all of the responses fit well within the allotted space. Aargh. It's a PDF, so it's going to be a major pain to try and fix that.

I can't wait 'til we start studying for the citizenship exam. We looked over the questions last night, and there were a couple of good ones that even I didn't know the answers to. It's not every day that I need to recall exactly which amendments deal with voting rights, but it makes perfect sense to include that info in the citizenship material.

EDIT. Ha! I found another PDF of the form--on a non-government website--that works properly. Yay. I'm pretty quick at this now; I have all of my student's answers memorized.

Grrr. It's the next-to-current iteration of this crazy form. *wrinkles nose*

Ah! Apparently, they will accept the last several versions, so maybe we're good...


The Inimitable Miss M

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October 2009


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